IBF flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan may look crude, unskilled and small to the average eye, but to opponents he’s a monster.
Darchinyan, a 5-foot tall dynamo, faces flyweight challenger Glenn Donaire (16-2-1, 9 KOs) and promises to take on his brother Nonito Donaire too, but that will have to wait until the Aussie strongman defends his world title at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Saturday. The fight will be televised live on Showtime.
“I know Glenn is sparring with his brother (Nonito). I am coming after him too,” says Darchinyan (26-0, 21 KOs) menacingly like a Halloween hobgoblin.
Now 30 years old, Darchinyan knows his time at the top of the flyweight heap is running short and he’s desperately seeking the spotlight. Earlier attempts to lure popular fighters into the ring have failed.
At one time it was felt the ethnic Armenian southpaw would get a shot at Mexico’s extremely popular Jorge Arce, but that fighter, who was a huge hit as a reality television star in his native country, has moved up in weight.
“Where is Darchinyan?” asked Arce jokingly after disposing of Hawk Makepula a week ago in four rounds. “I’ll fight him right now.”
Darchinyan, who is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, has a bull’s eye on Arce. But first comes Donaire.
“I wanted to fight Donaire because he challenged me,” said Darchinyan, who finds it difficult to get opponents after knocking out eight of them in a row dating back to 2003. “He said he can beat me.”
Donaire, who has fought many times in Southern California fight cards and has a big Filipino following, feels confident that his technique can withstand the hurricane of punches that Darchinyan’s opponents usually encounter.
“The guys that have fought Darchinyan have been intimidated,” Donaire, 26, says. “I won’t be.”
Also on the card will be the younger Nonito Donaire (15-1) accepting a fight with veteran Oscar “Pajarito” Andrade of Mexico (35-24-1), who makes a living out of upsetting young aspiring prizefighters.
Nonito, 23, has plenty of speed and above average defense, but his troubling hands seem to break down too often.
Andrade has a list of youngsters that he upset in his career – such as Heriberto Ruiz, Trinidad Mendoza and Jorge “Speedy” Gonzalez – and despite his pedestrian-looking record, hasn’t lost a fight since 2004 and that was by majority decision to Roger “Speedy” Gonzalez.
Chicago pay-per-view card
Near Chicago, the massive Nikolai “The Russian Giant” Valuev defends his WBA heavyweight title against Monte “Two Guns” Barrett on Saturday. The fight card will be televised on HBO pay-per-view from the AllState Arena.
Valuev made a visit to Los Angeles a month ago to drum up support for his first fight on American shores. Few in this country have ever seen him perform in a boxing ring.
“I like this country. I’d like to fight here more,” said Valuev at a popular Los Angeles hotel.
His opponent Barrett was not impressive in his last title opportunity a year ago against Hasim Rahman. He seemed listless and cowed by the heavy-handed Rahman. He may be petrified against the 7-2 giant Valuev, the biggest heavyweight champion in boxing history.
Also on the same fight card is Poland’s Tomasz Adamek meeting Australia’s Paul Briggs in a battle for the WBC light heavyweight world title. It’s a rematch. Their previous encounter ended in a majority decision for Adamek a year ago.
Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez may be retiring after losing by unanimous decision to Kevin Kelley last Thursday in San Antonio. It might have been his Alamo.
Kelley used a steady jab and angles to keep Hernandez from getting a bead on him. After 10 rounds including a second round knockdown from a right hook, Kelley gained all three judges favor.
Hernandez said he is probably going to retire but it’s not official. If a large payday comes his way there is a chance that El Salvador’s only world champion boxer could accept.
Fights on television
Fri. Telefutura, 8 p.m., Oscar Larios (56-5-1) vs. Santos Martinez (12-4-3).
Fri. Showtime, 11 p.m., Jean Paul Mendy (22-0) vs. Henry Buchanan (14-0).
Fr. HBO pay-per-view, 7 p.m., Nikolai Valuev (44-0) vs. Monte Barrett (31-4).
Sat. Showtime, 9 p.m., Diego Corrales (40-3) vs. Joel Casamayor (33-3-1).